Bellevue Arts Museum
Photo Credit: Bellevue Arts Museum

Bellevue Arts Museum recently shared an important development that strengthens its commitment to fostering a culture of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA). The initiation of BAM’s IDEA program represents a pivotal stride towards instigating a substantive, fundamental, and enduring cultural transformation within the organization.

Bellevue Arts Museum has partnered with Paradigm, a widely acclaimed leader in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility consulting. Leveraging Paradigm’s profound expertise and experience in steering organizational change and fostering lasting cultural shifts, BAM is set to navigate the intricacies of this transformative initiative. The collaboration with Paradigm ensures that BAM’s approach is not only informed and aligned with its values but is also poised to be effective and sustainable.

In a significant move last December, BAM launched a comprehensive and inclusive training program, extending its reach to staff, board members, and docents. Mitch Smith, Board member and lead chair of the IDEA Committee, emphasizes the importance of community support, stating, “Promoting inclusion, embracing diversity, fostering equity, and supporting accessibility will not only enhance our workplace but also strengthen our collective impact on the broader community we serve.”

Kate Casprowiak Scher, BAM’s interim Executive Director, echoes the organization’s dedication to positive change. She states, “We are deeply invested in the positive changes we can bring together and the future of BAM as an inclusive and equitable organization. As we embark on this new chapter, it is with an open mind and a commitment to learning.”

In March 2021, Executive Director, Benedict Heywood resigned after allegations of disrespectful treatment toward Tariqa Waters, mostly BIPOC exhibition artists, and others affiliated with the specific exhibition. An open letter was written to the Board of Trustees, documenting the abuses.

At that time, BAM put out a statement that they “Remain committed to its mission of engaging people in the power of art, craft, and design. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our community and patrons during this time of change.”

Since that time, E. Michael Whittington was hired as Executive Director in March 2022, who later had to step-down due to health reasons. Kate Casprowiak Scher was then appointed as Interim Executive Director, who is currently in the position at Bellevue Arts Museum.

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